I harvested about 80 kg of potatoes from my garden three months ago and was very chuffed because I would have had enough potatoes to keep my grandson, who is an absolute potato fiend in great organic potatoes for a very long time as well as having a bit over for the rest of the family. I very carefully stored the potatoes in plastic drums – one layer of potatoes followed by a layer of hay repeatedly until full. I filled about 5 X 25 liter drums, tightly sealed them and stored them in a cool dry place out of the sun – at the southern side of the house. The unforeseen, by me, has happened and the potatoes which were VERY GOOD for some months have gone sweet. Grandson does not eat sweet potatoes so he has refused my lovely baked offerings for the last few meals and reproached me for planting sweet potatoes instead of the real stuff. Knowing that I did not plant sweet potatoes I decided to read up. Apparently the place where I stored my precious harvest was too cold. Easy mistake to make in Dunedin, especially during the end of winter. Here is a link to the article explaining why cold potatoes become sweet https://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/cold-potatoes-black-bananas/
The next crop would be stored in a warmer space with a north facing window and wall! Never too old to learn. I now have a lot of sweet potatoes to eat myself, but there is hope as you presumably could partially reverse the sweetening process – next experiment!
We had lemons from the tree of a friend of a friend and lots of flowering rocket that we had to use or lose. Mrs BYF came up with this delicious pasta using the ingredients at hand, while I was busy making cheese.
Lemon and Rocket Pasta
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 chilli or some flakes, as much as you prefer, but at least a bit is essential
2 handfuls of fresh rocket + 1 handful of fresh rocket
zest of 2 lemons + zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
cracked black pepper
1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano
Add the pasta to salted, fast boiling water. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce.
Heat the olive oil and add the garlic and chilli in a pan that can hold everything including the cooked pasta. When the garlic is translucent add the 2 handfuls of fresh rocket to the pan. When the rocket has wilted slightly add the zest of 2 lemons and the lemon juice. When the pasta has cooked, add a few tablespoons of boiling pasta water to the sauce. When al dente, remove the hot pasta from the pasta pot, drain the water and add the hot pasta to the sauce in the pan. Stir the sauce through the pasta. Portion out the pasta into the plates and scatter a few of the fresh rocket leaves, a bit of the lemon zest and cracked black pepper over the pasta. Add liberal amounts of parmigiano reggiano and serve immediately.
Do not forget a glass of home made red to finish it all!!
Irrespective of the cold winter weather Dunedin is encountering at present, the garden seems to defy the seasons and continues to produce, which keeps me healthy and out of the supermarkets with some spare change in my pocket.
This is a quick, very easy and delicious Garden Meal
- 1 Head of Broccoli – Washed, dried and broken into pieces of about 25 mm in diameter
- 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Clove of Garlic – Chopped finely
- 1 Fresh Chili – Chopped finely
- Salt and Black Pepper
- Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padana Cheese – Grated
While you boil the water and cook the pasta in salted water, prepare the Broccoli sauce. In a large cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and fresh chili and cook for a few n minutes until soft, but not coloured (about 1 minute), then add the Broccoli and toss well in the oil and cook until the Broccoli is soft but still crispy and not mushy (about 2 – 3 minutes). Ad salt and black pepper to taste. Add the cooked pasta al dente to the pan with the Broccoli, garlic and chili and toss well. Serve immediately while still hot and dress with a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, grated Parmigiano and crushed Black Pepper
Do not forget the homemade red to wash it all down.
While I was cooking the Secondo Piatto, which in this case was Lepre alla Cacciatora (Hunter’s style Hare), I became peckish and looked around what I could do for a Primo Piatto. I had a few Radish leaves and some Polenta from the day before.
Ad a few spoons of good extra virgin olive oil to a cast iron pan and heat on medium to high. Cut the polenta in slices of about 20 mm thick and fry until lightly brown, then flip them over and fry the other side.
This is the same recipe we use for spinaci, silverbeet, and many other leaves. Wash the leaves and shake dry. Ad a tablespoon of good extra virgin olive oil to a heavy cast iron pan, then ad the leaves, some chopped garlic and some chilli, if wanted. Fry until all is nice and soft.
The above was made within a few minutes and some black pepper and parmigiano cheese finished it well. It was beautiful and went down well with some home made red.
It definitely is Gnocchi time again in the BYF household (Use the gnocchi link to go to the recipe). We have been using our own home grown potatoes for about four months now on a “dig when required” basis and must have consumed well in excess of 15 – 20 Kg of beautiful, fresh and organic potatoes already – my grandsons are addicted to roasted potatoes. Today I needed the space where the rest of the potatoes were still underground as I am preparing soil for further planting and I also cleaned Quail Cages leaving me with about 200 Kg of manure and bedding material which I had to dig into the potato patch. I have today harvested another 28 Kg of potatoes and this, plus what we already consumed, will probably be enough potatoes for a whole year – all of this from only about 4 square meters.
This simple recipe never fails. Wash the potatoes well and boil in well salted water until almost done, but not soft. Drain and when cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half. In an oven baking tray melt (do not burn) a generous amount of butter – about 50 g per small tray. Now place the potatoes in a single layer – cut side down – in the tray. Ad a fist full of rosemary and enough unpeeled garlic and bake at 200 C for about 5 minutes until the butter is sizzling and the potatoes have absorbed some of the butter. Now flip the potatoes over with the cut side up and put them back into the oven until they are golden brown. Dribble with good extra virgin olive oil, some chopped up parsley, salt and black pepper and ENJOY!!!
Do not forget the home made wine to wash it all down.
A friend brought us a wonderful, big yellow swede. We admired it for a day while it sat on the kitchen bench, and this morning it got too much for Mrs BYF. She attacked it with the large chef’s knife and about 30 minutes later we had a delicious pasta. I only post the recipes I have used a lot and those that I am certainly going to use again. This recipe is one of those!
1/4 or less of a massive yellow swede cut into pencil shaped pieces
3 Cloves of garlic smashed and chopped
1 pinch of chilli
6 tablespoons of olive oil
3 eggs, lightly whisked
a few silver beet leaves optional ( I was digging and the plant was in the way)
salt and pepper
grated parmigiano cheese
Pour the olive oil in to a large pan with a lid. Add the garlic and the pinch of chilli. Add the rinsed and dried swede pieces and fry for a few minutes. Add a few spoonfuls of water and the silverbeet and cover the pan. Once the swede feels a bit soft and has turned a lovely dark yellow, uncover and let the water evaporate. Put the pasta in the salted boiling water and cook until done. Fry the swede a bit more until a little brown appears but turn off the heat before the swede disintegrates. Drain and put the pasta in the pan on top of the swede, wait until the sizzle has subsided then pour the egg over the pasta. Mix well by gently turning the mixture in the pan over a few times.
Serve with a generous sprinkling of parmigiano cheese and a bit of black pepper. A dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil will enhance the flavour.
I took some rabbit back straps from the freezer yesterday as well as harvested fresh salad this morning, hoping to have it as a main today, but after four helpings of Mrs BYF’s swede pasta, the quails were very happy with the salad and the rabbit is back in the fridge.
The Cherry and Black Current Wine complimented this wonderful dish perfectly
I am harvesting a lot of cabbage. Cabbage is by far not my favourite vegetable, but Mrs BYF really loves cabbage in all forms. She is determined not to waste any part of the cabbage I brought in, so we have had the outer leaves stuffed yesterday, half of the cabbage fried along with some left over roast potatoes the day before, and today the other half roasted. The tastiest effort in my opinion was the roasted cabbage.
1 Head of cabbage sliced in 25mm thick slices, salt the slices very lightly on both sides
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pinch of salt
1 finely chopped chilli or pinch of flakes
4 cloves of peeled garlic
1 handful of fresh herbs from the garden i.e. oregano, thyme a sprig of rosemary
Heat the oven to 200C
Crush the garlic and add to the oil. Add the salt and chilli and drench the bunch of herbs in the oil. Use the herbs as a brush to coat the slices of cabbage on both sides with the oil. Place the cabbage on a baking tray or pan, pour over the rest of the oil, and toss in the bunch of herbs. Bake for 25 minutes or until some of the outer leaves are crispy and the rest shows some brown colour. The herbs will be delicious also.
We ate fresh baked bread with the dish, because one needs to sop up all the lovely juices from the plate and the pan
Do not forget the home made red wine